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Wingnuts Is Out of Business


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To all WW1 aircraft modelers:

Unless anyone here in the Forum knows about this already, but in case everybody here doesn’t know, at 13:55 hrs. Australian time,  Wingnuts Model Kit Company has closed it’s doors for good, according to fellow IPMS North Central Texas member  Richard Winston. We are saddened by this news as this company had some nice 1/32”biplane kits. I suppose there may very well be somewhat of a rush to buy the remaining supply of these kits. I though everyone here in the Forum may want to know about this unfortunate news item, and by all means do take care during this trying time. 
 

Best Regards and Happy Modeling,

Mark

 

I’m working on a Hawker Tempest Mark II. (Below) This may be the markings I might use. We’ll see.

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  • 5 months later...

A great pity. Right up to last year they brought loads of stuff to the IPMS UK Scale Modelworld Show at Telford and it all sold like hotcakes off the stand!

I am a bit surprised that Peter Jackson (I believe their owner and film producer of Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and King Kong) could not keep them going.

Maybe the moulds will be sold on to a Chinese or an East European manufacturer by the liquidators?  Let's hope they see the light of day under another manufacturers banner.

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  • 3 months later...

Looking at this again upon reflection, when you consider the costs involved in developing, having moulds made, manufacturing and worldwide marketing larger scaled, highly detailed kits of mainly WW1 aircraft it was probably doomed in the long term. Before I get castigated by WW1 aircraft model enthusiasts, one must consider the target market was always going to be extremely limited. Enthusiastic sales at Telford and probably other prestigious modelling events like the IPMSUSA Nationals only served to give the impression of a company doing well. But in reality there was a very limited market worldwide for quite expensive large scale  WW1 model aircraft kits, and not enough to sustain Wingnut Wings. Personally, I think that they were probably too ambitious in aiming at a very niche market. Had they made kits in other scales such as 1/72nd or 1/48th I am still not sure how they will have fared depending on a very limited band of WW1 modelling enthusiasts.

I said that I was surprised that Peter Jackson did not offer them some sort of rescue plan as the company was his baby so to speak, but in hindsight the harsh rea!ity is that any one in business would not try to flog a dead horse seeing the way it was going. Naturally it has had a devastating effect on their former employees and their direct families, and I know exactly what that feels like having worked for a company suddenly going bust myself, so my sympathy goes out to their former employees.

 

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Yes, there is a market out there for these kits. But not enough to sustain a whole company long term. If they had been part of a larger company offering a wider variety of subjects, they could have gone on for longer I would bet. 

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I do wonder what, if anything will happen to the Lancaster. It was close or seemed to be from the mock up at the nats a couple years ago. I assume due to the detail it was going to be really expensive and like most large kits, reaches a specific audience. Time will tell. I will tell you the stuff is selling for a ridiculous price now.

 

Dave

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Dave, you mentioned the Lancaster mock up that was yet another big and highly detailed kit project. And yes, probably going to be very expensive too!

Not surprised that the remaining kits are probably being sold on eBay at ridiculous prices and some retailers jacking up prices as well to make a quick buck out of diminishing stock. Cannot blame them if people are desperate enough to shell out large sums of money on those kits. Market forces etc etc.

A pity that Wingnuts bit the dust as the kits were exceptional, but catering for a very niche market depending on the well heeled modeller in this day and age was always going to be one hell of a risk, and unfortunately it did not pay off for them. Model builders by nature always clamour for bigger and better esoteric kits looking at what they would like made through rose tinted spectacles and not considering the viability of such a subject. But the reality is that a company has to be profitable both to survive and develop new products, and those products need to have mass appeal in a world wide markets. Over the years even Airfix and Revell have had a roller coaster ride, and they are two of the biggest players!

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